Seven string acoustic guitar conversion to bass.

Original model: 7-string Leningrad factory acoustic guitar
Model: "Karev Akkord"
Credit: Valerij Karev, Lithuania

The beginning.
Well, this guitar's story begun when I got it for free from my friend. It was a seven string Russian guitar (obviously from the Leningrad guitar factory). The guitar was a total mess. The body was cracked and was written all over, the tuning knobs were loose, so was the fret board, the frets were slim and dirty, the bridge was unscrewed. It was a disaster.

The repair.
First I decided to fix the cracked body. I've done it with a pack of silicon glue. The guitar body was perfectly fixed. Then it was the loose fret board. A woodblock was putted under it and glued on the both sides. The loose tuning knobs were filled with silicon glue (they were hard to turn, but not loose). I've found some bolts and screwed the bridge to the body. Finally I have cleaned the dirty frets and the body from the writings. The guitar was in playable condition.

The modification.
The body:
After repairing the guitar I've decided to modify it to a hollow bass. The bridge was modified with a metal corner (with four cuts for the strings) screwed to it. The tuning rod holes were drilled to fit in the bass strings. The nut was also changed and cut into four sessions for the strings. I've got to the nearest guitar shop and bought bass strings. They have fitted perfectly.

The electronics:
First I have made a pickup out of a magnet and a reel. It was my second pickup ever made, so it was big and too messy. It was connected directly to the socket. But it was to large and it was annoying me, so I have made another pickup. It was almost the right size, so I've put it into the guitar. The guitars' sound was too clean and too much low frequented, so I've decided to make a custom bass booster. The booster worked perfectly and was integrated into the guitar. I've put in a switch to turn the bass booster on and off and in to clean mode, and a light emitting diode as an identifier. The socket was in a very uncomfortable place, so the guitar could be connected only when standing.

The finish.
I have put a wood texture sticker and the front of the guitar. Sealed the hole. I have named my first modified guitar the "Karev Akkord". My band's bassist played it for half a year. The guitar is not very impressive, but fun to play.

This mod was sort of popular back in the 70's - 80's in USSR. Seven-string acoustic guitars were considered an authentic Russian folk instrument and were produced in large quantities. It was tuned differently from six-string standard EADGBE; young generation wanted to play rock which required a six-string instrument. Remember, this was before Korn, so the seventh string was considered useless. One popular modification was to get rid of the seventh string and make new holes in a bridge and reroute the nut. The other - more clever - mod was to convert it into a bass guitar. Actually, the seven string bridge had seven holes so you could skip the second, fourth and sixth holes and use only four remaining holes. The string spacing was actually very similar to a bass and there was no need to work on a nut and bridge.

- CheesyGuitars

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